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Iconic Looks - Madonna

So far she's flashed her boobs, bared her bottom and aggravated the French far right so when Madonna takes to the stage at Edinburgh's Murrayfield this week, I'm really hoping it won't be boring. The age-defying singer is on her MDNA tour, which kicked off May 29th in Tel Aviv and since then, she's played to crowds in 13 different countries. And come this Saturday, she's in Scotland. So in honour of her Madgesty's Scottish appearance, I decided to take a look at Madonna's most iconic looks, and I asked MAC's senior makeup artist, the lovely Lesley Keane, to explain how to recreate these looks. Everyone ready? VOGUE.

First up, it is, of course, the look from the Blonde Ambition tour in the 1990s. Wearing her Jean-Paul Gaultier pointed corset, platinum ponytail and headset, Madonna rocked a bold look, including a now famous MAC lipstick. Lesley says:

Iconic Looks - Madonna
Madonna on the Blonde Ambition Tour

"The focus of this look is the statement red lip.The product used for this tour was M.A.C Russian Red lipstick as it was launched around the same time and it reached cult status thanks to that tour. The skin was kept quite matte, use a translucent powder such as M.A.C Prep + Prime Skin over your foundation of choice. As it was the 90's contour was dramatic. Apply M.A.C Harmony Blush with the #129 brush to define the cheekbone. Define the brows in a straight shape using M.A.C Lingering Eye Brows pencil. This look was all about the masculine brow. To do this draw across the arch of the brow and extend outwards, fill the line into the actual brow with light strokes.
"Define the brow bone and eye lid with M.A.C Shroom eyeshadow, and with a #224 brush contour the socket line using the same Harmony Blush as used on the cheekbones.
Than apply M.A.C Blacktrack Fluidline across the lid in a straight line using the #209 brush and flick it upwards into a point at the outer lash. Finish by applying a generous amount of M.A.C Haute & Naughty Mascara on the upper lashes only."

Back in 1985, Madonna won plaudits for her role in Desperately Seeking Susan - if you haven't already, you need to watch this- in the following years, however, she failed to set the screen alight with any of her other film roles. That was until Evita, when she reinvented herself with full-on ladylike elegance, epitomised by her look at the film's premiere in 1996 below. Lesley says:

Iconic Looks - Madonna

Madonna at the Evita premiere

"This look is almost like a pared down version of the Blonde Ambition make up. The skin is kept fresh and natural so opt for a foundation like M.A.C Face and Body and powder only in the lower plains of the face ie chin, nose ,either side of the nose, under the eyes and centre of the forehead.
"Using the M.A.C Blacktrack Fluidline, draw a straight line across the lid with the #209 liner brush. When you get to the last lash extend upwards into a flick. Curl the lashes and apply M.A.C Extended Play Lash Mascara to the upper lashes for a sleeker finish.
"Line the lips with M.A.C Auburn Lip Liner and blend M.A.C Dubbonet lipstick across the lip with the #318 brush.
Finish by applying M.A.C Hush Cream Colour Base to the lid and brow bone and across the cheekbones for that luminous look."


1999 and time for another reinvention. I remember people back then writing Madonna off, but she came back with a new look and a brilliant new album, Frozen, I love this dramatic look, and particularly the geisha look for Nothing Really Matters. Not one of Madonna's most successful singles, it's a beautiful the look for the single's video, which was then created by Laura Mericer -how amazing would it be if the masterclass on Friday covers this. Lesley says:

Iconic Looks - Madonna
Madonna in Nothing Really Matters

"Since this look is really about a modern take on a geisha look, it’s important to keep the skin base quite pale. Try white Face & Body Foundation to give a milky tone to the skin as opposed to a theatrical white. Then dust over with M.A.C Transparent Loose powder.
For the eyes apply M.A.C Passionate pink eye shadow blending it with the #129 brush from the outer lid in wards. Also apply half way under the eye so the result is a blended shock of colour. Apply M.A.C Fascinating Eye Kohl inside the eye which is a soft white pencil. Curl the lashes and apply M.A.C Extended Play mascara in black on the top and lower lashes.
Contour the cheekbones with M.A.C Harmony Blusher and the #129 brush in a defined shape.
Finish by lining the lips with M.A.C Cherry Lip Liner and fill in with M.A.C Ruby Woo Lipstick and a layer of M.A.C Clear Lip glass.

And out of all her reinventions, Madonna's look during the period of her Ray of Light album was my favourite. I loved the paired-down beauty of it, and thought she looked breath-taking. Lesley says:

Iconic Looks - Madonna
Madonna and Ray Of Light

"This is really a natural look that's all about a hydrated sun kissed skin. So a light all over tan look is required, moisturise the face with M.A.C Complete Comfort Cream and apply M.A.C Prep +Prime Fortified Skin Enchancer base all over the face to give a luminous golden look. For foundation try the M.A.C Face and Body Foundation in C3 or 4 tones for a honey tone look.
"For the eyes, comb the brows upwards and dust M.A.C Satin Taupe eyeshadow across the lid and socket line with the #224 brush. Curl the lashes and apply M.A.C Zoom Lash Mascara in a brown tone.
"Then use M.A.C Lip Conditioner in Petting Pink to give a natural glossed look. Then buff M.A.C Hush Cream Colour Base across the cheekbones and the bridge of the nose for a natural glow."


There you have it, thanks to Lesley for this, I'm off to try and recreate one or more of these looks but, in the meantime, here's the video, time to start arm-chairing dancing people!


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Sarah Tolan is the founder and editor of Scottish Beauty Blog, Miss Nifty and Kate's Wardrobe. Learn more about her here and connect with her on TwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn.